Brake Failure in Car Accidents: Who’s at Fault?

Man's car crashed into a treeCar accidents that involve brake failure happen every day. However, there are times that a car could fail to stop due to other causes besides driver error. It may be due to a manufacturing defect or poor brake maintenance. The court would consider all these when trying to establish who’s liable in a car accident involving one or more cars and brake failure.

A renowned auto accident attorney in Springfield, IL shares some information to help you understand the law better.

Is it Mechanical Failure?

There are times when brakes fail even if the driver steps on them in order to avoid a collision. Take note that all states mandate that drivers maintain their brakes, tires, and other car components and equipment regularly. If a plaintiff could show proof that the brake failure resulted from lack of or poor maintenance, the driver might be held responsible for the accident. On the other hand, if the brake failure was due to a manufacturing defect, then the liability would fall on the manufacturer.

Or Driver Error?

Usually, car accidents result from distracted driving. All states have specific distracted driving laws, but in general, if the drivers didn’t hit the brake because they were distracted for some reason, they would probably be held partially responsible for the resulting injuries and damages. The reason for this is that traffic violations that affect driver safety are commonly considered as proof of negligence. Investigators could even consider the information from a car’s black box as evidence to establish whether the driver used the brakes or determine the speed at which the driver was moving at the time of the accident.

Perhaps It was the Other Driver’s Fault?

Comparative and contributory negligence laws establish whether a driver could be awarded damages in cases where the driver might also be at fault. This is because in many car accident cases, both drivers involved have acted unsafely prior to the mishap. For instance, one of the drivers was running a stoplight and collided with a driver that didn’t hit the brakes to avoid the accident. In this case, both drivers might share the fault. But then again, this would depend on the state’s negligence laws.

Many things could cause brake failure, which means it’s difficult to prove fault in many cases. If you get involved in a car accident with brake failure as the main factor, consult an experienced lawyer to see how the above mentioned principles apply to your case.